Travel writers tend to overdo the superlatives but Madeira really is a stunning destination with a wide range of activities if you want to do more than just sunbathe, including walking the Lavadas, Whale Watching, Scuba Diving and enjoying the Botanical Gardens.
The climate is almost perfect with average summer temperatures around 24C and winter temperature only 4-5 degrees cooler. There is some rainfall year round which gives Madeira colour and an abundance of subtropical vegetation. September and October are the hottest months and temperatures remain high into the beginning of November making it ideal destination to visit late summer.
Travelling to Madeira is relatively easy, the journey time is about four hours and there are several flights a week from Manchester (main flying day is Monday). Madeira is also a favourite destination for cruise ships, the stunning approach and the natural deep harbour allowing large vessels to moor right in the middle of the town.
The capital Funchal is located on the South of the island and close to the airport making transfers quick and easy. Nestled in a great natural amphitheatre looking out to the Atlantic and protected by the dramatic mountains behind it is the sunniest part of the island.
There is a wide range of accommodation and you can easily combine two centre holidays if you want to experience more of what the island has to offer. ‘Quintas’ are the Madeiran equivalent of our Country Houses or Chateaux in France and give a very traditional experience. The Cliff Bay Hotel in Funchal has received the highest feedback from Adeona guests with one clients who recently returned saying in was the ‘best hotel he had every stayed in’, from such a seasoned traveler this was praise indeed!
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Walking the Levadas in Madeira is a great way to see some of the island and experience the wide range of flora and fauna. ‘Levada’ is the Portuguese word for the mini-canal irrigation system developed as early as the 16th Century to distribute water from North to South. The Levadas have paths running alongside and these give access to locals and tourists who want to enjoy the amazing countryside. You can spend just a day or your whole holiday walking the Levadas depending upon how active you choose to be.
If you prefer your walking to be gentler then Madeira can offer beautiful gardens. The Botanical Gardens on the outskirts of Funchal were once part of Quinta do Bom Sucesso, the former residence of the Reid family. Opening 364 days of the year, they have amazing views of the harbour and host the Natural History Museum. The Monte Palace Gardens are 5Km from Funchal and host one of the largest Cycad collections in the world.
Madeira is a great destination to watch whales and dolphins because the water drops rapidly from the coast; April to October is the best time with over 20 species present. Madeira also boasts a unique and beautiful world beneath the ocean with caves, coral, shipwrecks and a diverse marine life, which combined with the clear water, makes Madeira a paradise for divers.
For Bird Watchers Madeira has four specially protected areas known as Zonas de Proteccao Especial (ZPE) plus eight areas designated as important bird areas (IBA’s). Entry is restricted but you can join day tours for bird watching or photography.
Over the course of the year there are numerous festivals in Madeira and accommodation and flights tend to book up quickly so it’s worth planning ahead. These include, The Wine Festival 30th August – 6th September in Estreito de Camara; Madeira Carnival 3rd - 10th February and Madeira Flower Festival 7th - 13th April 2016.
If Madeira sounds like your kind of destination then have a look at our special offers or give us a call and start planning your tailor-made trip.
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